I have always said that April is cruel to poets month. Poets are reading everywhere. Some are writing a new poem each day–oh you productive ones. Sometimes, we just post each others’ work on Facebook elsewhere. It is that feast more than famine moment month. But as a poet, I am pleased for the feast. It is good to hear poets as diverse as Cyrus Cassells, , Scott Hightower, Julie Patton, Thomas Sayers Ellis, Anne Waldman, Simone White and that’s just the first two weeks in New York City. At the end of March, I was pleased to launch my new chapbook Living in the Love Economy Berl’s Poetry Shop, a wonderful space for poetry books and all who read them in DUMBO, beneath the Manhattan Bridge and to attend the Center for Black Literature’s National Black Writers Conference. I look forward to readings and events in April.
photograph by John Casquerelli
This past week I led a Master Class at the 12th National Black Writers Conference at Medgar Evers College and I used “Mourning the Queen of Sunday” by Robert Hayden as the prompt. It is Hayden’s centenary and I envy Tony Medina and others who attended a conference in Detroit at Wayne State University. Whether it Academy of American Poets poem-a-day; your local library’s Poem in a pocket Day or if in NYC, you visit the luminous as in daylight Poets House in Tribeca, open your mind and heart to the efforts of we would be bards. You never know what you find there. Some time powerful, forceful, feelingforce, thinkingforce, beingforce. Poems can generate great light or deep darkness. That is good. Poems are human made for humans’ use.